MALIBU, Calif. — For the second day in a row, the Pepperdine offense rallied from behind to take down the BYU Cougars. On Saturday, the Waves (28-19, 12-6) trailed 5-2 and 6-4, but a four-run sixth inning propelled them to an 8-7 victory at Eddy D. Field Stadium.
The win gave Pepperdine a crucial West Coast Conference sweep that moved the Waves into a tie for first place after league-leading San Diego dropped its second straight game to Loyola Marymount.
In the paramount sixth inning, redshirt freshman Bryan Langlois led off with an infield single, reaching on a chopper to third base. Both James Grandpre and Matt Gelalich walked, despite both beginning their at bats trying to sacrifice bunt. Zach Vincej flared a single into centerfield to score a run and Joe Sever tied the game with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Grandpre tagged and scored on the play, but BYU thought he had stepped over home plate. Once the throw came in, catcher Wes Guenther chased after Grandpre and tagged him while he was being congratulated by his fellow Waves just outside the dugout.
With Guenther’s back to the infield, Gelalich took advantage and moved up from second to third base. Vincej stole second base to put two runners in scoring position and Tony Cooper delivered. He lined a 1-1 fastball into centerfield, scoring both to give Pepperdine an 8-6 lead. He finished with three RBI a day after recording four hits and four RBI.
BYU put a pair of runners in scoring position the next half inning off Matt Maurer, Pepperdine’s normal midweek starter. Maurer allowed an RBI groundout, but freshman left-hander Aaron Brown entered and struck out Jaycob Brugman on three pitches to leave the tying run stranded on third base. Brown pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Michael Swanner came in and pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up his seventh save of the season.
After the first inning, Pepperdine held a 2-1 lead, but BYU scored three runs in the third inning. The first two hitters reached on a pair of infield singles, but the big blow came off the bat of Alex Wolfe, who laced a double less than a foot inside the right field foul line after hitting one off the wall just foul two pitches earlier in the at bat.
Despite striking out seven batters, Pepperdine starter Corey Miller struggled to locate his fastball and lasted only 3 2/3 innings. BYU starter Adam Miller didn’t fare much better. He allowed seven runs (six earned) on seven hits and five walks in five innings to take the loss. Maurer picked up the win in relief.
The 9-1-2 hitters were the catalysts for Pepperdine. Gelalich reached base three times and scored two runs; Vincej finished with three hits, two stolen bases and three runs scored; and Austin Davidson had a pair of stolen bases while reaching base three times.
For BYU, Guenther had three hits and a pair of RBI while Brugman, Christian Mua and Bret Lopez each recorded multi-hit games.
Check out the 18-shot photo gallery from Saturday afternoon’s Pepperdine/Brigham Young matchup below: